Jeju is the biggest island off the Korean peninsula, boasting an array of nature with crystal clear waterfalls and white sand beaches. With impressive landscapes, delectable food and a variety of accommodations available, Jeju Island is one of the most popular tourist destinations in South Korea.
Still, if you need convincing on why it’s worth a visit, don’t worry!
Below, we’ve rounded up 5 good reasons why you should book a trip to Jeju Island as soon as you get the chance to!
1. Perfect for hiking
If you’re an adventure-seeker who loves exploring places by foot, Jeju Island offers an abundance of hiking opportunities for you. Jeju’s natural landscape includes mountains, valleys, and volcanoes, so you’re bound to catch breathtaking views during your hike.
One of the most popular hiking trails is up to Seongsan Ilchulbong, also known as Sunrise Peak. As its name suggests, Seongsan Ilchulbong is the perfect spot to catch the sunrise over Jeju’s beautiful waters.
Other volcanic and coastal trails around the island include Wollan Crater, Hallasan and Dragon’s Tail trail.
2. See Haenyeo in action
A hike up to ‘sunrise peak’ also gives you the chance to catch a glimpse of Haenyeo, female divers known as the ‘mermaids of Jeju Island’.
Unique to Jeju, Haenyeo dive into the sea while holding their breath for as long as two minutes. With a history dating back to about 1,700 years ago, Haenyeo traditionally dived to catch fish to provide for their families.
Today, most of these female divers are over the age of 60. Still, they’re able to dive for up to seven hours at a time, surfacing only to get another wind of air before diving back down again.
You can catch the Haenyeo Diver Show at 1.30 pm and 3 pm at Sunrise Peak or visit the Haenyeo Museum to learn more about them. However, if you want to see Haenyeo without a performance, you can visit Seongsan-ri, which is the village next to Seongsan Ilchulbong crater.
3. Fresh island food
Being an island surrounded by the sea, Jeju has plenty of fresh seafood for you to enjoy. For one, it’s famous for abalone, which is traditionally caught by the Haenyeo. Jeju offers a variety of ways to savour their delectable abalone, with sizzling stone pot rice, porridge or entirely raw.
Another specialty unique to the island is black pork. It comes from the meat of black pigs bred only in Jeju. Enjoy this succulent meat as part of a classic Korean barbecue!
4. View cherry blossoms
There are only a few places in the world where you’ll find streets covered with cherry blossoms – and Jeju Island is one of those places!
With peak blossom lasting only a couple of days – or weeks at most – cherry blossom blooming season is when tourists flock to the island. To catch the annual cherry blossom festival, visit Jeju Island anytime in late March up until mid-April.
5. Experience Jeju Folk Village
The recently-restored Jeju Folk Village comprises 117 houses displayed over 40 acres.
Visiting the village is a great way to immerse yourself in the traditional culture of Jeju Island. Be transported back to the 1890s when you see houses made of earthy materials like iron, wax, porcelain, and bamboo.
There are also loads of folk artefacts for you to view. What’s more, you can even catch demonstrations of how traditional crafts are made!
If you are set on travelling to Jeju, learning the Korean language before visiting will definitely boost your experience and help you immerse yourself in the culture better. But unfortunately, due to the Covid-19 situation, the closest you can get to Korea right now is by watching your favourite K-dramas.
Nonetheless, you can still pick up the language without leaving the country. Begin your learning experience through a Korean language course in Singapore with Sejong Korean Language School, and you’ll be all set for your next trip to Korea!